By Tim Royner
Kell Brook will be battling an opponent still to be determined in a catch-weight fight on the Anthony Joshua vs. Jarrell Miller card on June 1 on DAZN and Sky Sports. Unfortunately, this is expected to be a stay busy/tune-up fight for Brook (38-2, 26 KOs), and then after that he plans on facing a ‘big name.’
Brook is open to fighting either at welterweight or junior middleweight, according to Sky Sport News. Brook wants this to be a catch-weight fight at junior middleweight.
There had been talk of Brook fighting Jessie Vargas, but that’s not happening. Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has Vargas (28-2-2, 10 KOs) scheduled to face 38-year-old former two division world champion Humberto Soto on April 26. Vargas won’t be available to fight Brook unless he makes quick work of Soto.
Brook, 33, is training at Fuerteventura for his next fight on the Joshua vs. Miller undercard on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
“I’m looking for titles. I want some big names, so that’s where we stand,” Brook said to skysports.com. “Wherever the excitement is. I can still make welterweight. I believe this fight will probably be at catchweight, between 154lbs and 147lbs. We have this fight and then we move to a big name.”
This will be Brook’s third consecutive tune-up. He devoted 2018 in fighting tune-up fights against Sergey Rabchecnko and Michael Zerafa. The fight that Brook is waiting on is Amir Khan, but he’s scheduled to face World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Terence Crawford on April 20 at Madison Square Garden in New York. It would be easy for Brook to face Khan in September or October if he gets through the Crawford fight without suffering an injury or a bad knockout, but you can’t predict how the fight will turn out. Brook has hurt his career by fighting so many tune-up level matches instead of taking on the best.
After 12 years of mostly tune-ups, with the exception of his fight against Shawn Porter, Brook stepped it up against Gennady Golovkin in 2016, and was stopped in the fifth round. Despite losing the fight, Brook was seen in a favorable light for giving GGG a lot of problems before being pulled out of the fight by his trainer Dominic Ingle in the 5th due to an eye injury. Brook followed up that loss with a fight against Errol Spence Jr. in May 2017, and he lost that fight by an 11th round knockout. Again, it was an injury that led to Brook losing. He fought extremely well until his eye problem forced the fight to be stopped. The momentum that Brook had built up with those excellent fights has been interrupted with him facing two soft opponents in Zerafa and Rabchenko. If Brook faces another weak opponent for his undercard slot on the Joshua-Miller fight, he’ll have wasted a lot of time with his career. The fans want to see Brook challenge WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia, IBF/WBA champ Jarrett Hurd or WBC champion Tony Harrison. Fighting Jessie Vargas, who hasn’t won a fight in two years since 2017, would be like another tune-up for Brook.